Rumors become reality as CBS jettisons Smooth Jazz KHJZ/HOUSTON in favor of Top 40/Mainstream HOT 95-7 under OM/PD JEFF GARRISON.Nothing on the website appears to be "under construction" and the stream worked well including the interactive "vote for your favorite song" function. Very nice! For a station looking to attract a young audience these enhancements need to be standard equipment.
In addition to the on-air programming, HOT 95-7 will launch with a full complement of digital applications, including streaming audio, text messaging, online communities, podcasts and downloads. Listeners can log onto www.hothitshouston.com for the complete interactive experience.
GM LAURA MORRIS, said, "We've built HOT 95-7 for the listener. We don't pick the hits; they do. Every hour, listeners can vote for the top hit of that hour and we'll play the song at the top of the next hour. We'll do that 24 hours a day ... it's the first and only station we know of giving listeners that kind of control."
GARRSION added, "We're about today's new music, celebrity artists, pop culture, lifestyle and trends ... whatever is HOT now. We're online, on demand and in touch with the pulse of the next generation of radio listeners."
I'm not here to shill for CBS Radio, but instead to use what appears to be a smooth launch as an example of what is necessary to do it right in 2008. Now, I only listened to the station for 1 piece of imaging and 2 songs, so I won't comment on the programming.
Another Smooth Jazz station bites the dust. Subtracting a handful of still-successful SJ stations the format looks like it's cratering. Yes, it's been aging for a number of years now and yes, the format strayed from one of it's original mantra's of being not only smooth, but fresh and yes, the definition of what made up the Smooth Jazz coalition has shifted. But no, the format which adds a unique and historically successful flavor to the radio dial doesn't have to die.
More on that another day.